Continuing the blog serialisation of my popular X-Pro Series lust/hate/love story:
Part 37: The X-Pro2 Review: How to Use the Fujifilm RFC RAW Convertor: Part One
A bit of a departure from talking about the X-Pro series for this instalment!
I thought it was time to have a closer look at the RFC (RAW File Convertor) software that’s supplied by Fujifilm with their cameras (and also available for download from their website)
This software is pretty much universally hated!!
Clunky, slow and illogical – it’s easy to see why no seems too like it.
So am I about to educate you that it’s not clunky, slow and illogical?
No, that’s not possible!
But that said, not using any other process/RAM heavy application while you’re using RFC can make a difference in its operating speed.
However RFC is not without usefulness and in my opinion; anyone not needing or wishing to buy, a full-on RAW convertor or anyone who just needs a separate app to generate .TIFF files for use in a more fully featured product, could do worse than use this completely free of charge, (supplied by the people who make your camera) piece of software
RFC is supplied by Fujifilm, but is made by Ichikawa Soft Laboratory Co.Ltd, a Japanese company. The version supplied with Fujifilm cameras is a stripped down version of their more fully featured SikyPix Developer Pro software.
So in the coming parts we’re going to be taking a look at it’s features, what it can do (and what it can’t) and how to use it.
Before we start editing any images, let’s take a look at the features and options and how we might want to set them up.
This is the full screen of the application, which should be the view that greets you when you launch the app
To begin with, you should head to the Options Menu in order to make some changes
Setting For Developed Image
Here I personally recommend having RFC add a suffix to your developed images. Applying a setting here will add the suffix to all images that RFC develops. I’ve chosen ‘RFC’ so that I know my images were made in this application. In this example, the setting will have the effect of naming your files _______.RFC.jpg. This can be handy if you have SOOC Jpegs and RAFs in the same folder, it will stop RFC wanting to overwrite your SOOC Jpegs, with its developed Jpegs. (For example, if set to shoot RAW + Jpeg, your Fuji will give you 2 Files; DSCF1234.RAF & DSCF1234.jpg. On standard settings, RFC will want to output the file its created from DSCF1234.RAF as ‘DSCF1234.jpg’ but that file already exists)
I would also set the output quality to the highest setting
The next item from the options menu is Display Settings
Here you can specify any colour profile management that your monitor may have and what side of the screen the tools to reside.
For Preview Display System, the default setting is a ‘coarse’ preview (full image view, which is very slow to update) and a more accurate ‘zoom to 100%’ view for when you need to check a specific part of the image
If you have a colour profile for your screen, set it from the Display Settings Monitor Profile drop down menu
The next item is Function Settings dialogue box
The next item from the Options Menu, is the Function Settings. Here you can specify at what point the auto exposure tool meters for; as well as the level at which the shadow and highlight “blinky” warnings kick in at.
Two important changes I recommend here
1)Enable continuous operation of the Eyedropper tool
2)Cache settings – MAXIMUM
The first setting means that when using (say) the WB selector tool, if you want to click more than once and try a second (or 3rd, 4th etc) WB from a point in the image, then you don’t have to re-select the tool each time. (But you will have to manually deselect the tool after you’re finished with it)
The second settings gives RFC it’s max performance on your system… It’s still slow though 🙂
If you want RFC to ONLY work with RAW images, tick the box at the bottom left “Operate RAW Data Files Only”
The next item is Key Customisation
If you love keyboard shorts – here’s the menu to make them/change them and a list of the shortcuts native within the app
The next item is Default Parameter Settings
This menu determines the “pre-set” that RFC applies on image opening.
Selecting a new Default Parameter Setting
Later I’ll show you how to make pre-sets, but once you have a pre-set you want as a starting point for all of your RAFs, you can select it from the drop down and it’ll be applied on initial image opening
The Options Menu has a additional options sub-set
The Delete Access History clears the cache of where you’ve opened files from on your computer
If you’ve changed the position of any of the tools, the Initialize Location of Controls resets them to default
Change the ‘Skin’ Colour of the application
The Help Menu:
Initialize User Configuration File = deletes all your custom settings
Delete Temporary Files, clears the cache on your computer from the files left by image editing
The Trouble Shooting Menu.
The items here are explained accurately.
Next time we’ll take a look at the native tools within the RFC application.
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